Chihiro Iwasaki : Her Personality and Her Work
Although some thirty years have passed since Chihiro died, her work still surrounds us like the air we breathe, and softens our hearts. This achievement, however, represents the fruit of ceaseless endeavor.
One of the more intriguing aspects of Chihiro Iwasaki as an artist is that, throughout her career, she never tired of painting children. Even without a model, she could accurately capture the subtle differences between a ten-month-old baby and a one-year-old. Chihiro used her keen eye and polished drawing skills to create countless images of children through literally thousands of works. Without the aid of even a rough sketch, she could pick up a brush, steep it in water, and move it freely across the paper to convey the soft and elastic qualities of a child's skin. The pictures she created were fresh, vivacious, and brimming with life.
"When a child holds my finger, I delight in feeling his powerful grip," said the artist. "Those soft, chubby hands are astonishingly strong. You cannot draw such internal movements by simply observing and sketching."
Chihiro was able to refine her ability to capture the youthful energy of children in her pictures by drawing them for more than twenty years and through the experience of being a mother raising her own child.
The children depicted in Chihiro's artwork appear alive, filled with thoughts and emotions in each picture. The artist once said,
"When I am painting children, I feel as if I am painting my own childhood."
The little girls in her work may very well be reflections of Chihiro in her youth.
Chihiro invented a unique style of subtle expression by mixing techniques from Western watercolor painting with those from Japanese and Chinese traditional India ink painting. This delicate and flowing style represents an essential quality in Chihiro's work. Her early experiences with the Japanese calligraphy of the Fujiwara Kozei School also seem to have influenced her drawing technique.
Chihiro's outstanding artistic abilities, together with her maternal love and fresh affection, combined to produce a distinctive style and unforgettable images.
Throughout her life, Chihiro longed for peace and was especially concerned with providing a peaceful future for all the world's children. The Chihiro Art Museum hopes to serve as an ambassador by carrying on various activities, to spread not only Chihiro's artwork, but also the message of her special commitment to peace and happiness throughout the world.